Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Book Review: The Silver Boat

'The Silver Boat'
Author: Luanne Rice

Format: ARC
Published: Pamela Dorman Books; Apr. 2011
Pages: 304
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Grade: C
Source: Publisher

Synopsis: Dar McCarthy is expecting her sisters, Delia and Rory, to join her in Martha's Vineyard for a final visit to the family home before it has to be sold for taxes. Each of the sisters has taken a different path, and Dar is the only one remaining on the island. The house has been in the family for generations, and as the sisters reunite to pack up mementos, they broach the one subject that has haunted them, the disappearance of their father when they were young. Michael was an Irish immigrant shipbuilder, while their mother came from a prestigious New England family. Michael always maintained that his family had a land grant from the king of England on Martha's Vineyard. Driven by the need to prove his worth, he sailed to Ireland to look for the original deed. After unearthing love letters between her parents, Dar and her sisters go to Ireland on their own quest. 

My Take: This was one of the books that I set out to read this summer. Seriously, looking at that cover how could I not? I even actually spent some time reading that at an actual beach which was the perfect setting for reading this book. Rice is a seasoned writer, having written close to 30 books, so I am glad I finally took the time to read one of her books.

With her latest novel, we have the story of three sisters struggling with the twin losses of their mother and the home which has been in their family for hundreds of years on Martha's Vineyard. It's a time of change on the island with new money moving in, but being a part of the old guard they are having a hard time accepting the change.

The sister we mainly follow is also the oldest, Dar. She has lived her entire life on the island and is having a hard time giving up the home she has always loved. The two other sisters return to help, bringing problems of their own. 

It soon comes to light the family has some mysteries and all is not as simple as it may seem. Their father left to return to Ireland when the girls were young believing that he, too, had a title to the land. Yet, he never returned. They always suffered from not knowing. 

While the story was interesting enough the pacing was off. There was a mystery here but it didn't get going for 100 pages in and then it was solved pretty quickly. Two of the sisters went to Ireland, and one wanted to leave within two days. You just got there! In the end, I think the book struggled from not knowing what it was. Was it a family saga, a mystery, a romance? For those of you that have read other Rice novels, which one should I add to my must read list?

Cover Lust: Well there really isn't a cover that says summer like this one!


  1. I think I have one of Luanne Rice's books on my unread pile but can't seem to recall which one. You're right about the cover- so tempting! Too bad that the book is not as good.

  2. Too bad that the book did not live up to what it could have been :/ Better luck next time

  3. It seems like you're on a run of bad/underwhelming reads lately! I hope you find a summer book worthy of an A soon!

  4. I have to admit that I've wanted this book for its cover too - sorry to see the book isn't as good as the cover.

  5. Cloud Nine was the first of hers I read and it was enough to make me a fan. I've got at least 5 of her books on my shelves but haven't read one of hers for awhile. Try another and see if you have better luck.

  6. Yeah, whenever someone tries to come up with a mixture of genres, he/she has to be pretty good to make it work...



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